Juliet 1898

Date: 1898
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 70 x 46.5 cm

Juliet 1898 by John William Waterhouse is a masterpiece of British painting. It was Waterhouse's first major success, and it sold for PS962,500 at a Christie's auction in London. This painting was first exhibited in 1898, and the artist displayed it in various sizes so that it would work with different galleries and keep different critics satisfied. Despite its modest scale, the painting's subject matter remains an enduring favorite.

Waterhouse also created three versions of the story, including The Lady of Shalott, and a very rare version of the famous Ophelia. This famous work depicts Ophelia, just before she dies. Her portrait is set on a branch that leans over a lake.

Waterhouse first exhibited “Juliet/The Blue Necklace” in London in 1898. Many of his paintings were purchased by Sir Frederick M. Fry, a renowned British politician and collector. Shakespeare's “Juliet” was written in 1597, when the arts were flourishing in England. Waterhouse's interpretation of the story is particularly compelling as it portrays Juliet in a more intimate light.

Although Waterhouse may not have achieved the fame of some other Pre-Raphaelite artists, his work is still highly regarded and is displayed in many major British art galleries. A major retrospective of Waterhouse's work was organized by the Royal Academy of Art in 2009.